How To Start & Grow Your Business

Objections to ROI Selling Tools Worth Ignoring

Darrin Fleming
Jan 8th, 2015
  • Estimated reading time: 4 min read
  • Hummy's
    Highlights

    1Good tools allow the prospect to customize data. 2An ROI tool can differentiate your UVP. 3Anything that helps prospects decide wisely is good.
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Sales Tools

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I truly believe in the power of ROI tools to enhance a sales team’s ability to close more deals. (If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be in the business of selling them.) However, not everyone agrees with me. In fact, inside LinkedIn group discussions, I’ve had sales leaders at some of top global b2b organizations tell me that ROI tools are ineffective.
Man with fingers in ears.
Below, you’ll find three objections sales operations, sales enablement and sales leaders give for why B2B sales teams should avoid ROI tools. Plus you’ll see why these objections are full of baloney!

Objection #1: Putting an ROI tool on your website assumes that all customers have identical needs.

It’s true that no two customers are alike. And, yes ROI tools that have hidden assumptions and blind calculations of value do not provide the customization required to move prospects down the funnel.

The thing is, good ROI tools actually account for the fact that no two customers are alike.
A good ROI tool is designed to help a prospect decide if a given solution is a sound economic investment. That means the tool just doesn’t incorporate industry and benchmark data. It should allow the prospect to modify any data inputs or assumptions to make the calculation reflect their specific economic realities.

Takeaway: Look for an ROI tool that provides the ability to modify the inputs, not one with hidden assumptions and blind calculations of value.

Objection #2: Having an ROI tool on your website provides your prospects with the justification to buy from your competitors.

So, prospects are using your ROI tool to research pricing and then they end up buying from your competitors? If this is the case, I’m not sure your ROI tool is the problem.

When you think about market definitions, you’ve got two ends of the spectrum to consider. On one end, you have sales teams that sell absolute commodities. In this environment, competitors all deliver the same amount of value. In that case, the lowest-cost competitor should always win. Any company that invests in an ROI tool on their website to help prospects evaluate their purchase decision in a commoditized market is wasting money. (After all, you don’t need a calculator to tell you which company offers the lowest price.)

On the other end of the spectrum, you have companies that provide differentiated offerings that deliver more value relative to the competition. In that case, the value calculator or ROI tool only emphasizes why the prospect should buy from you. (Unless you do not, in fact, offer the value you think you do.)

Takeaway: If your offering delivers value differently than your competition, an ROI tool on your website is one of the best ways to communicate that value, generate buyer interest, and capture leads.

Objection #3: ROI tools cause salespeople to make questionable promises to prospects.

This is definitely far-reaching! A well-built value calculator or ROI tool doesn’t make any absolute or fixed assumptions about the value that will be delivered. Instead, it provides the salesperson with a tool to have a discussion with a potential customer about the problems that they are having and how their solution could:

  1. Solve those problems,
  2. Provide value to their business,
  3. Justify the investment in the proposed solution.

Takeaway: If your ROI tool causes the salesperson to mislead prospects, then it isn’t an effective tool and should be updated.

Because sales and marketing leaders are falling for these common objections, their sales teams are being blocked from talking to more than 50% of prospective buyers. Recent CEB studies show that 57% of B2B buyers make their purchase decision before they even talk to a supplier. In other words, if you aren’t providing tools to help a customer learn more about your organization and the value your solutions offer, you are likely being eliminated before they even talk to you

Any tool you can put online to help prospects make their buying decision — especially if it helps them to understand why they should purchase your offering — is a good thing.

This article was written by Darrin Fleming and published on the Salesforce blog.

Darrin Fleming, Managing Director at Stratavant, and his ROI selling tools have helped B2B technology and industrial organizations including Honeywell and Avaya quantify their value. 

With 100,000+ customers, salesforce.com is the enterprise cloud computing company that is leading the shift to the socially connected businesses.